Tag Archives: dietician tips

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The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Valentine’s Day Treats

It’s almost unavoidable: chocolate hearts, candy kisses and a bounty of not-so-healthy treats from your sweetheart.  Registered Dietician Danielle Omar is back to let us know the healthiest and unhealthiest treat options for this Valentine’s Day so you can steer your loved one in the right direction.

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NibMor 6 Spice Drinking Chocolate

Danielle loves the combination of dark chocolate and warming spices in this drink mix!  She does warn us that, although made with organic ingredients, the main ingredients are still sugar, so to indulge mindfully.

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Fresh produce at the Byward Market

Eat Fresh: Your Guide to Winter Produce

Just because the temperature’s dropping, doesn’t mean you can’t eat fresh produce!  Tina Ruggiero, registered dietician and cookbook author, says that thanks to cold weather crops and agricultural methods, we can still enjoy produce throughout the winter.  Check out Tina’s favorite winter fruits and veggies, and consider adding a few to your cart the next time you’re at the grocery store!

Winter Squash

Tina is a fan of all types of winter squash – pumpkin, acorn squash and butternut squash – and says it should be a staple in everyone’s kitchen this winter.  Squash is low in calories but high in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Not sure how to use squash? Tina makes a killer salad in her new cookbook, The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook, by tossing squash, walnuts, dried cranberries and kale with faro.

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Pumpkin Spice Mania! The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Pumpkin Spice Products

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice, you’ve probably been curious about all the pumpkin spice products popping up in the grocery store.  However, as we’ve learned from the Pumpkin Spice Latte, not all pumpkin spice products are good for us.  To help you out, Registered Dietitican and Nutritionist Danielle Omar shares her thoughts on some popular pumpkin spice products and suggests healthier alternatives.

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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Danielle says that the bad press the Starbucks PSL is getting lately is mainly because the drink doesn’t contain any real pumpkin and is loaded with sugar – a grande PSL contains about 12 spoonfuls of sugar!  Danielle suggests making your own at home using real pumpkin, or making a latte using pumpkin spiced teabags or pumpkin spice flavored coffee beans with unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

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Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt

With Greek yogurt being a healthy go-to, it seems like Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt would be a great way to get a healthy fix of your favorite fall flavor.  Danielle says this yogurt is higher in sugar, but it does contain real pumpkin puree which she likes.

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Clif Bar Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Danielle loves that most of the ingredients in the Clif Bar Spiced Pumpkin Pie are organic and that they use real fruit to sweeten in addition to rice and cane syrup.  However, Danielle points out that 55% of the carbs in this bar are sugar.  She says this would make a great pre or post workout snack, but she wouldn’t consider it a good anytime snack.

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Planter’s Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Planter’s Pumpkin Spice Almonds are a no-go for Danielle.  She says these contain 4 different types of sugar, which is unnecessary and doesn’t have anything to do with the pumpkin spice flavor.

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479 Degrees Pumpkin Pecan Praline Popcorn

Danielle says 479 Degrees Pumpkin Pecan Praline Popcorn  is super indulgent – 60% of the carbs are coming from sugar!  Instead, she suggests popping your own popcorn and sprinkling pumpkin spice on top.

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Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffles

While Danielle would like to see a bit more fiber and protein, she says Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffles are a pretty good option.  Most of the ingredients are organic, pumpkin is the second ingredient listed and less than 20% of the carbohydrates come from sugar.

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Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax

Danielle says Kashi Crunch Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax are decent and have pretty good fiber and protein content for a granola bar.  She also likes that a lot of natural spices and flavorings are used.